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Source of crucial immune cell in the skin discovered

ponses in vaccine design and tumor immunotherapy and to a better understanding of the immune response against skin pathogens."

"Now that we know which cells are the precursors to Langerhans cells and the importance of Csf-1, we may be able to enhance tumor vaccines by increasing the recruitment of Langerhans cell precursors to the skin," said Dr. Merad.

Additionally, the researchers point out that the new findings hold promise for potential therapeutic for patients with a Langerhans histocytosis, a rare disease effecting approximately 200,000 children annually. In children with this disorder, large numbers of Langerhans cells infiltrate organs and tissues throughout the body. So, targeting the pathway by which these cells are formed could lead to new therapies to help children who now face the possibility of lifelong complications.

"It is known that Csf-1 levels are elevated in patients with Langerhans histocytosis," said Dr. Merad. "Our findings indicated that finding ways to lower Csf-1 levels may produce new therapeutics for these patients."


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Source:The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine


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